A US citizen who refused to quarantine and instead went on a pub crawl in a Bavarian ski town has been accused of starting a COVID-19 outbreak there, according to new reports.
The unidentified 26-year-old woman, who works at a hotel resort for US forces stationed in Germany, returned from a vacation in Greece at the end of August, The Guardian reported.
The alleged super-spreader went for a COVID-19 test on Sept. 8 after displaying symptoms, authorities in the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen told the paper.
She was directed to quarantine until her results were available — but flouted those instructions and went out that evening, according to the report. The following morning, her test results came back positive and she is now in quarantine.
Following the incident, two dozen people at the woman’s workplace — the Edelweiss Lodge recreation center for US Armed Forces — have tested positive for COVID-19, Garmisch-Partenkirchen District Administrator’s Office press officer Stephan Scharf told CNN.
The town itself saw a spike in cases — with 33 reported on Friday alone, according to Scharf.
“We did not have so many even during the height of corona,” the official told the network. “This kind of behavior, of course, is everything but commendable.”
“I am angered about this young woman,” district councilor Anton Speer told The Guardian.
“Despite having symptoms and the order to quarantine, she plunged herself into the nightlife…. It will be a Herculean task to get hold of all the contact persons and inform them.”
The hotel, which recently hosted a conference on preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the US Army, has been shuttered for two weeks.
“Several staff members of the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort here have tested positive for COVID-19,” a US Army Europe spokesperson said in a statement issued to CNN. “As a precaution, additional staff members who had prolonged, direct contact with the positive staff members have also been quarantined.”
“The facility is working with US Army medical professionals and local medical officials to assess the situation and conduct contact tracing,” the spokesperson continued.
“Due to the number of staff members affected, the decision has been made to close the resort for two weeks beginning Monday, September 14.”
It’s unclear whether the woman caught the virus during her vacation or later in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, The Local Germany reported.
“This must be investigated,” Scharf told the outlet. “The lady had symptoms, came to the test station and was told to stay in quarantine because of the symptoms. But she did not do so.”
The woman’s penalty was also not immediately determined. In Bavaria, quarantine violators can be fined up to €2,000 — more than $2,300, according to the report.